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An assessment can be made of the collective coverage of the reviews of stage models of SME growth mentioned in the previous paragraph by noting that they undertake detailed analyses

(including tabulations, comparisons and integrations) of models in prior research proposed by Collins et al. (1964), Buchele (1967), Downs (1967), Lippitt & Schmidt (1967), Steinmetz (1969), Scott (1971), Greiner (1972), Kroeger (1974), Torbert (1974), Lyden (1975), McGuire (1976), Thompson (1976), Hosmer et al. (1977), Parks (1977a, 1977b), Gervais (1978), Katz & Kahn (1978), Adizes (1979), Kimberly (1979), Vozikis & Glueck (1980), Naoum (1981), Galbraith (1982), Perry (1982), Churchill & Lewis (1983), Quinn & Cameron (1983), Miller & Friesen (1984a, 1984b), Vargas (1984), Smith et al. (1985), Flamholtz (1986), Scott & Bruce (1987), Kazanjian (1988), Adizes (1989), Kazanjian & Drazin (1989), Hanks (1990a, 1990b), Kazanjian & Drazin (1990), Hanks et al. (1991), Dodge & Robbins (1992), Hanks & Chandler (1992), Hanks et al. (1993), Terpstra & Olson (1993), Dodge et al. (1994) and Hanks & Chandler (1994).

In terms of usefulness to the present review, the works of Hanks (1990a, 1990b), Hanks et al. (1991), Hanks & Chandler (1992), Hanks et al. (1993) and Hanks & Chandler (1994) stand out in the literature cited above in a number of respects. First, they post-date a considerable number of other works identified. Second, they critically review virtually all significant prior writing and research on the enterprise life-cycle construct. Third, they represent a comprehensive attempt to ground stages of the enterprise life-cycle in empirical observation. Conceptually and methodologically, these works stemming from Hanks’ (1990a) doctoral research represent a worthwhile cumulation and advancement of knowledge in the area.

Before presenting the findings of their own empirical research, Hanks et al. (1993) review 10 enterprise life-cycle models described in the previous literature. Hanks et al. (1993, p. 6) indicate that models proposed by Quinn & Cameron (1983), Miller & Friesen (1984b) and Smith et al. (1985) are all ‘summary models, developed to achieve some synthesis among competing life-cycle models’. Hanks et al. (1993) take these, along with models of Greiner (1972), Galbraith (1982), Churchill & Lewis (1983), Flamholtz (1986), Scott & Bruce (1987), Kazanjian (1988) and Adizes (1989) not otherwise considered, and compare and contrast them in terms of the number, nature and order of stages they entail, and the contextual and structural dimensions of business organisation they contemplate. Note that Hanks et al. (1993, p. 7) define a life-cycle or growth or development stage

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